CALL TO ACTION TO SAVE WILLAPA INTERIM POLICY
The spiel below was posted on a electronic bulletin board (blog) and is 100% accurate. The 14% was the baseline harvest rate for recovery in the AHA model runs, was submitted by myself and others for consideration, was the chosen recommendation submitted by the Advocacy on behalf of the majority of the AD HOC Advisers along with citizens participating. Agency staff refused to present it to the Commission as a option. What we have here is blatant pressure by the Commercial fleet and WDF&W staff who support them to derail reform in Willapa. I urge you to e mail or write the Commission urging them to stand firm and reject this attempt to derail reform in the Willapa fisheries.
Last Thursday the Commission adopted an interim policy to get the agency thru the 2015 season-setting for Willapa Bay commercial and Rec fisheries. This was done as a ONE-SEASON stop gap to give specific guidance to WDFW the 2015 NOF process because the Commission is still deliberating on a more permanent Willapa Policy that is not proposed for adoption until at least June (after NOF is over).
The new policy is rooted in the conservation of WILD fish. Particularly contentious is the emphasis on reducing exploitation on WILD Chinook.
In the interim policy, the Commission voted in favor of a conservation/HSRG-based impact cap of 14% for WILD Chinook in the Naselle and Willapa Rivers rather than the 20% recommended in the staff proposal. This has been cause for much celebration in the conservation community. It was met with much less enthusiasm by the commercial gillnet community.
Before the ink has even dried, the push for reversing the Commission's decision has begun in earnest. Naysayers allege that the 14% impact cap had not been properly vetted thru the public process. Not only is this allegation embarrassingly WEAK, but it is also categorically false.
The 14% cap has been fully vetted (along with a full spectrum of potential impact caps) by advisors on the WB Ad Hoc Committee, at several public meetings since December, thru written testimony submitted to the Commission, and was even promoted in live public testimony at the Thursday hearing when the decision was made.
Models have been repeatedly run at all levels of impact up to 20% and beyond. In a nutshell NONE of the impact calculations exceeding 15% could deliver on the desired chinook conservation objectives.
The Commission needs to hear from you!
Please send the Commission an e-mail supporting their decision and urging them to HOLD FIRM on the principles of conservation. DO NOT CAVE to political/agency pressure to reverse the 14% impact cap.
The NOF/PFMC season-setting process culminates this week (April 11-16) in California. Do it now!
or send your comments directly to:
Posted on Sun, April 12, 2015
by Dave Hamilton